Why you should care
Because Lady Bird and Carrie are similar. Trust us.
Committing to see all nine of the Academy Awards Best Picture nominees requires an immense love of cinema — and at least 18 hours of your life. (And in my case, massive gummy bear consumption.) Then there’s the Oscar-binge aftermath, when you realize a film has reminded you of another and you have to watch it … stat. Or, as the credits roll, you’re left wanting more.
Movie fans are in luck, as each 2018 Best Picture nominee has a perfect follow-up flick. And better: The selection is from a different genre than the nominee, so all the emotions and empathetic tendencies that didn’t awaken will now get a workout. Consider this your guide to keep the movie-binge momentum going through genre-flipping.
High School Horrors: Lady Bird
If burgeoning adulthood seemed rough in Lady Bird, it could have been much worse — horrific even — as seen in Carrie (1976). “There’s a long-held argument that some movie genres are mutually exclusive,” Timothy Rawles, iHorror editor-in-chief, says, “but time and time again, we see narratives cross over into niche formats,” as with Lady Bird and Carrie. “These two coming-of-age tales” both show “young women struggling with their emerging maturity, challenging their same-gender parental figures.” Sure, one ends in an everyday event and the other in a supernatural bloodbath, but viewers “still undertake an emotional journey that plays into our darkest anxieties,” he explains.
Beware, Emotional Wreckage Ahead: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Guilt. It’s the worst. If you had to live with knowing the final, hate-filled words you said to or about your child led to tragedy befalling them? Beyond dreadful. And yet Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri approaches the matter with a dark, comedic tone. Russia’s Loveless, a 2018 Oscar nominee for Best Foreign Language film, takes a tumultuous yet painfully restrained route with its tale of a missing child. Both films urge viewers to consider the repercussions of selfishness and failure in the parent-child relationship, but the melancholy Loveless will make your soul weep. (That’s a good thing, I promise.)
Puppet Games: Get Out
Just how far would you go to get what you most desire? Get Out shows the horrific side of taking over another person’s body and mind for selfish reasons. Being John Malkovich, on the other hand, takes a comedic approach to making someone else your instrument of profit, be it monetary, to live out a dream or live forever. It’s a twisted game being played in both films, but it goes down a lot easier when a Catherine Keener–played character isn’t hypnotizing men for lobotomization. Instead, she’s sexy, manipulative and exploitative in John Malkovich, which is much funnier.
Relationship Woes: Phantom Thread
Those under the spell of Phantom Thread should look to the Master of Suspense and see Rebecca, says Susan Felleman, professor of art history and film and media studies at the University of South Carolina School of Visual Art & Design. Alfred Hitchcock’s suspense-filled Gothic romance, adapted from Daphne du Maurier’s novel, is definitely a touchstone for Paul Thomas Anderson’s romantic drama, she says, given both are about “the impulsive relationship between a wealthy, sophisticated older man and a common, inexperienced young woman who enters his life and imposing home.” It’s there that an austere and possibly malevolent woman is in charge and the memory of another haunts the halls.
The fun shouldn’t end there though. Felleman suggests watching Vertigo for its similar theme of a Pygmalion-like man who “must create his ideal woman from whole cloth, so to speak, rather than acknowledging her own agency.”
The Rest of the Noms
- Until the Last Man Stands: Dunkirk With the men at the front battling for their survival in Dunkirk and the man behind the scenes trying to save their lives from afar in Darkest Hour (2017), they’re two different sides of the same story. And each will leave you full of pride over their characters’ unbreakable spirits.
- Summer Lovin’: Call Me by Your Name A great love story that ends in heartbreak like Call Me by Your Name is cat bait — you just can’t resist. Harold and Maude (1971), as told through a lens full of the darkest of dark humor, will have you cursing fate too while continuing to celebrate the magic that happens when two souls impact one another in epic fashion.
- Do Go in the Water: The Shape of Water The 1980s classic Splash may not be awash in green hues like The Shape of Water, but you’ll be shocked to see just how similar these films are — in between bouts of laughter as you further accept that love knows no bounds, even if your other half has scales.
- Truth and Action: The Post Fighting for what’s right and upholding journalistic integrity is serious business in The Post. The plentiful amount of humor in The Paper (2017) makes it even more fun to root for doing what’s right because the government’s not the enemy — it’s the almighty dollar.